Cloud storage arrays to generate $1.45B in 2015

Gartner report says most "external" cloud services will continue to be used by small companies in foreseeable future

Worldwide revenue from vendors selling external disk storage subsystems for cloud-based systems will grow from $267.4 million this year to $1.45 billion in 2015, according to Gartner.

In a recently released research report, Gartner said companies selling private and/or public cloud storage have seen annual revenue grow some 56% to date this year compared to 2010.

"As external cloud computing emerges as a new segment of the storage market, competition is increasing with leading commercial ECB (external controller-based) disk storage vendors developing or acquiring technologies that will serve as a good fit for external cloud deployments," said Gartner analyst Sid Deshpande in a statement .

According to Gartner, the term "external cloud" refers to any public, private or hybrid cloud that serves multiple customers. "Internal clouds" are those deployed within a corporate data centers to serve the company's internal clients. External clouds currently represent only 1.4% of the overall external array-based disk storage subsystem revenue last year, Gartner said, noting that the market is still in an early build-out stage.

Additionally, while small, midsize and large companies are utilizing software-as-a-service technologies (SaaS) today, the primary consumers of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) are still mostly smaller organizations at this point, the report stated.

SaaS and IaaS provider segments will continue to constitute the bulk of revenue for ECB disk storage sales through 2015, Gartner predicted.

"We believe the SaaS providers offer the largest cloud opportunity for ECB disk storage vendors in the short term, as many software service vendors lack a hardware portfolio and may lack the resources to develop their own infrastructure hardware," said Pushan Rinnen, a research director at Gartner.

"However, SaaS-based vendor revenue will grow much slower than the combined growth rate of cloud application infrastructure and cloud system infrastructure through 2015. Therefore, we believe IaaS will represent a larger long-term opportunity for commercial disk array vendors," Rinnen added.

Additional information is available in the Gartner report, dubbed " Forecast: External Cloud Opportunity for the Disk Storage Array Market, Worldwide, 2010-2015 ."

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian , or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com .

Read more about storage in Computerworld's Storage Topic Center.

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